Should Trucks be Allowed in the Left Lane?

January 8, 2020

The left lane on a highway is typically where vehicles travel at higher speeds than drivers in the right lane. However, semi-trucks often need to drive at slower speeds due to the weight of the truck and the cargo inside, creating a higher risk for a truck accident. This causes speculation on whether a truck should be able to drive in the left lane arises.

Despite safety concerns, state laws dictate if a truck can drive in the left lane on a highway. Each state has different laws regarding trucks being in the left lane; it is important for drivers to be aware of the laws according to their state.

Virginia Laws on Trucks Driving in the Left Lane

Virginia has its own laws regarding trucks driving in the left lane. One law states that trucks cannot drive in the left lane on any interstate highway, especially if the highway has more than two lanes. This is applicable to any interstate highway where the speed limit is at least 65 miles per hour.

Similarly, trucks are not allowed to drive in the left lane on an interstate highway within the Eighth Planning District or Interstate Route 81. Unlike the previous law, the speed limit does not apply. Trucks traveling 15 miles per hour below the speed limit have to avoid the left lane on any highway containing more than two lanes. The only exception to this law is if the truck is about to take a left lane exit. Drivers who violate this law could be fined up to 750 dollars.

North Carolina Laws on Trucks Driving in the Left Lane

North Carolina laws that regard trucks driving in the left lane are less restrictive. North Carolina laws allow trucks to drive in the left lane; however, the truck must not drive slower than the posted speed limit to avoid traffic obstruction. Once again, the only exception to this law is if the truck is expecting to take a left exit. Drivers who violate this law might be fined up to 100 dollars.

The Dangers of Trucks Driving in the Left Lane

Left lanes on highways are always considered the faster lane. The left lane is important because it allows for a more efficient driving system; left lane drivers can pass slower moving vehicles. When a truck is in the left lane, they are likely going under the speed limit due to the weight and cargo of the truck. Slow moving trucks impact the flow of traffic and create issues for surrounding drivers. Other drivers may feel obliged to swerve and speed around slow moving trucks. Ultimately, there is an increased chance of a truck accident.

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Advocate for Truck Accident Victims

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries from a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers represent truck accident victims. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we pride ourselves in helping clients that have suffered losses from truck accidents. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we proudly serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.


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